Humility: A Clear View of God


Nothing draws the heart of God to His people more than humility.

Thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and the lowly of spirit.” Isaiah 57:15

“My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:2

You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

For though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar. Psalm 138:6

What more convincing do we need? We must deal with this truth: God loves humble people.

What does it mean to be humble? It is defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance. Consider the synonyms of humility in the above verses: lowly, contrite (or crushed), broken.

A Clear View of God
I LOVE the dichotomy in those verses. They begin with a high and exalted God. A holy God. And of all places, where does this God long to be? With the lowly! The broken! The crushed! The contrite! Why is this? I believe there is a simple and clear explanation. Brokenness and humility is the defining characteristic of those who see God clearly.

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Practical Strategies for Bible Reading

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In my last post, Word Pictures, I tried to give a fresh perspective on why our time reading the Word of God is so crucial.  And likely, many will affirm that knowing and loving the Bible key.  After all, this is the foundation of our faith!  Yet, in that quiet moment when you open its pages, The Bible can also be incredibly intimidating.  Here are a few suggestions to make this task doable.

1. Read a book, not a verse.
Imagine you are given a book from a friend.  How would you read it?  Would you start in chapter 4?   Or flip to random pages and look for the perfect one-liner?  Never!  This type of reading is a surefire way to be confused, misunderstand the intended purpose, and quickly lose interest. Why then do we read the Bible this way?

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Word Pictures

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The most substantial and lasting change in my life is a direct result of many hours spent alone with the Bible.  Sometimes I get asked about how to become more spiritually maturity, grow closer to God, or walk in freedom from sin.  For me, the answer to all of these things is time in the Word.

Yet I find so many people struggle to enjoy the Word of God.  Some resort to skimming a few chapters or searching for that 1 verse that will bring good feelings.  For some, it has become a dry and bland duty, void of any delight.  Or worse, others resort to searching for verses to debate with others.  This ought not to be the case for those who follow Jesus.

In light of that, let me give you some Word pictures (yes, that’s an intentional pun!) to grant a fresh perspective for your time reading and studying the Bible.

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Twitter-itis: Is Social Media Making Us Sick?

Twitteritis-Is Social Media Making Us SickCould you live without Social Media?  How many hours a day do you spend looking at news feeds and pictures?  What is the result of a life of constant entertainment, connectivity, and distraction?  What is the condition of the soul dulled with a steady input of mindless screen-watching?

I began to ask these questions after noticing some undesirable patterns in my use of social media last year. My days were bookended with checking news feeds; my phone was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing at night. The urge to keep scrolling and scrolling echoed the feeling of trying to pull myself away from a bag of chips yet hopelessly saying, “Just one more” til the bag is gone. I remember thinking, “This is not how I want to live. Only halfway living my life while spending the other half passively connected to an online world.”

Out of desperation to regain balance and soul health, I spent nearly 6 months of last year completely free of all social media. No instagram.  No twitter.  No facebook. And very limited Pinterest use. YES, I did survive! Not only that, I began to see 6 harmful effects of unrestrained and aimless social media use. Continue reading

A God Worth Waiting For

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It’s Monday morning and you walk out the door at 6:30am to head across town for an important meeting you have at 7:00am. All is going as expected until you turn the corner to see you left the headlights on all night. Your fears are confirmed as you turn the key in the ignition to no avail.

Two choices emerge in your mind. There is a city bus stop 1/2 mile from your apartment that can get you there. You’d probably be late, but it’s definitely a possibility. Then there is your friend who lives about 5 minutes away but is known for her ability to turn every 5 minute task into half an hour. You call in the favor and she says she just needs to get dressed and will be there shortly.

By now it’s 6:40am. Do you begin the half mile treck to the bus stop or wait for your friend who continues to claim that she will be there soon? Whether on your driveway or at the bus stop, your choice will reveal what you deem as most reliable to fulfill your need of getting to your meeting. We wait on what we believe to be reliable.

There’s a reason no one is standing in line at an empty register at Walmart, hoping for a cashier to magically appear. There’s a reason no one is sitting at a Chick-fil-a drive thru on Sunday afternoon waiting to place their order. No one is coming. Waiting is pointless. We only wait on what we believe to be reliable.

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Blog Update: Bible Studies Added

Hello friends and followers!

If you haven’t heard, I recently added a new page to my blog called “Bible Studies.” Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to write a few Bible studies and devotionals for high schoolers and adults. I am beginning to post some of these on this page for you to download and print off. Feel free to share these with others or use them to lead others if you already teach a Bible study. I hope these can be helpful to you.

I wanted to point out one in particular to you called “Intimacy with God.” I have often been asked about what it takes to cultivate true intimacy with God beyond just daily religious activities. I created a 3 day devotional in response to this common inquiry because I feel it is so vital to have a living, moving, active relationship with God that is tangible and felt. This devotional goes through 3 basic approaches that I operate in on a daily basis that bring me into real intimacy with God.

Here is a preview of this devotional. You can download the entire thing on the Bible Studies page.

Say that I decided to sit with you at lunch every day because I wanted to get to know you more. I immediately start giving you an in depth account of my day so far. I talk through the entire lunchtime and as soon as the bell rings, I jump up and say, “Great talking to you! See you tomorrow!” and leave. I begin to do the same thing every day. Do you think I will really get to know who you are? Of course not! I need to hear from you to get to know you.

In the same way, we need to practice listening to God through our day, and not just talking to Him all the time. But how do you actually do that? Let me share a story with you that I think will help:

There was a guy named Tim who went to high school with me. We weren’t friends or even acquaintances. I simply knew what he looked like. I never really saw him at school; once in a while I’d see him in line in the cafeteria or in the hallway. Then one year, I had a class with him and got to know him a little better. Within a few months, I had developed a full-blown crush on him. I thought about him all the time, and looked for him everywhere I went. All of the sudden, I saw him all the time! In the hallways, after school in the parking lot, and at lunch. I soon learned where his locker was, who his friends were and knew which halls he took to get to third period.

I’m sure many of you have experienced this same phenomenon before. It wasn’t that Tim wasn’t around before. He was always there. I was just too caught up in my own conversations to notice him. He was really still a stranger to me so when he passed by, I didn’t notice. But once I had a crush on him, I began to look for him. I always had my eye out for him. Through every conversation with friends, my eyes would be darting around the hallway just to catch a glimpse of him.

In the same way, God is all around us, trying to speak to us. But so often, we rarely hear because we are too caught up in our day-to-day activities. We aren’t looking for Him and listening to Him. But when we begin looking for Him and keeping our eye out for Him, He shows up all over the place! We need to be excited and expect Him to show up and speak to us, just like I was always expecting Tim to come around the corner.

An Unexpected Struggle Against Pride

Well it’s been 4 months since my last blog post! And as I expected, God had a lot to teach me in this hiatus from writing and none of it has been what I expected. For those of you who have prayed for me and sent encouraging messages: Thank you!!

Just before this break from writing, I had been asking God to grant me humility. I am very aware of my struggle with pride and I feel that it is a stronghold in my life. Pride is very subtle and can take many different forms that we can’t see right away, so I felt very helpless in the battle against this sin and had been regularly asking for God to bring a new level of liberation from it. It was soon after I began praying for this that I began to sense I needed to take a break from writing.

As I mentioned in my last post, I also felt that this season would be full of temptation as well. And sure enough it was. There were numerous occasions where I was presented with a clear choice to walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh. For example, there had been a miscommunication between Jimmy and I and it genuinely inconvenienced me. But I knew it was a complete accident and unintentional. He had been so sweet throughout our conversation about it and was headed home. I remember hanging up the phone and thinking, “I can respond in grace to my husband and be forgiving or respond in entitlement to what I feel like I deserve.” And without feeling like I could do any differently, I chose the way of entitlement.

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